Southern Prohibition brews downtown
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 23:02
In the heart of downtown Hattiesburg, in a furniture warehouse from the 1940s comes the beginning of great things for Hattiesburg. Previously located in Keg and Barrel on Hardy Street, the craft beer company, Southern Prohibition, is expanding to East 2nd Street.
“Demand was so high for the craft beer coming out of the Keg and Barrel, along with an overall love of craft beer!” said Emily Curry, outside sales of Southern Prohibition. “The law changing in July was the last kick for Quinby (Chunn) and John (Neal) to pursue their dream together.”
The law Curry is referring to is the craft-beer bill, which was approved last April to become legal in July. The bill allowed for beer to contain up to eight percent alcohol where previously, anything above five was illegal.
Since the passing of the law, Hattiesburg has seen the emergence of two local craft beer companies, Southern Prohibition and Gordon Creek Brewery. Southern Prohibition has more than 20 barrels in the warehouse and plans on having at least three different types of craft beer, including a seasonal ale which they will switch out in the fall.
“We are pleased with the addition of two new breweries to the downtown area,” said Betsy Rowell, director of Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. “ I believe this new industry will be important to attracting visitors downtown. With that in mind, we are planning for the addition of a beer festival to enhance our FestivalSouth series in June.”
Southern Prohibition plans to can the craft beer, which will be sold in a four pack of 16 oz. cans instead of the average six packs.
“Canning craft beer is a rather new concept to Mississippi,” Curry said, “and we are eager to change the perception beer drinkers have of the can.”
Southern Prohibition is set to open in mid April and is eager to share their craft beer with Hattiesburg. Launch parties are being planned for the company as well as pairings with other breweries in the South region. With their downtown location, they plan on having a tasting room, hold brewery tours and even plan for multiple beer crawls.
“There are a few things up our sleeves, just keep a close eye on us (Facebook or Twitter) and wait,” Curry said. “We want Southern Prohibition to be a common name in the community.”
Gordon Creek Brewery, in size, is a much smaller brewery but has similar ambitions. The brewery hopes to have 2-4 different beers on a regular basis and hold weekly beer tastings to get the community involved in perfecting their product.
“Beer geeks travel to try new beers and with two local breweries, a local brew pub and Hattiesburg’s rich culture, I expect we’ll see a lot of tourism from it,” said the Gordon Creek brewer, Sam Sorrells.
Sorrells is the brewer for the company, where his wife Kathy Sorrells, owns the business. They will have five barrels and be placed among the smaller breweries, but Sorrells is excited about the possibilities.
“Small scale brewing is much more the norm in places like the UK and Belgium,” Sorrells said.
Although they are opening much later than intended, Gordon Creek looks to open around March.